Wall Street posts fourth positive session in a row: Aus shares set for solid start

Market Reports

by Anna Napoli

The Aussie market is set for a solid start following another positive session on Wall Street as we continue to see US markets doing well this week following a rather volatile start to the year. The S&P and Dow have both notched up four straight days of gains alleviating concerns surrounding a frenzy of speculative retail trading. GameStop has shed more than 80 per cent this week alone after last week hitting a record high of $US483 amid an online battle that pitched amateur traders against Wall Street hedge funds that had shorted the stock.

US Economic news

A better than expected jobs report fuelled some of yesterdays moves to the upsode on Wall Street . First-time claims for unemployment insurance came in at 779 000 below ecconomists expectations of 830 000.

Markets

To the figures from around the globe: Wall Street closed higher yesterday: The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 1.1 per cent to 31,056, the S&P 500 added 1.1 per cent to 3872 and the NASDAQ closed 1.2 per cent higher at 13,778.

European markets closed mixed, London’s FTSE lost 0.1 per cent, Paris gained 0.8 per cent and Frankfurt closed 0.9 per cent higher.

Asian markets closed lower, Tokyo’s Nikkei lost 1.1 per cent, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng fell 0.7 per cent and China’s Shanghai Composite closed 0.4 per cent lower.

Taking all of this into equation, the SPI futures are pointing to a 1 per cent gain.

Yesterday, the Australian share market closed 0.9 per cent lower at 6766.

Company news

Online real estate platform REA Group has posted a 13 per cent increase in net profit to $172.1 million for the first half of the financial year when compared to the year earlier period. Revenue decreased by 2 per cent to $430.4 million and earnings EBITDA (including associates) of $290.2m increased by 9 per cent. The company will pay an interim dividend of 59 cents per share up 7 per cent. Shares in Rea Group (ASX:REA) closed 0.31 per cent lower at $154.50 yesterday.

Ex-Dividends

BKI Investment Ltd (ASX:BKI) is paying 2 cents fully franked

Currencies

One Australian Dollar at 8:15 AM was buying 76.03 US cents, 55.61 Pence Sterling, 80.24 Yen and 63.54 Euro cents.

Commodities

Iron Ore has gained 3.5 per cent to US$158.03.
Iron Ore futures suggest 3.0 per cent gain.
Gold has lost $41 to US$1794 an ounce.
Silver was down $0.48 to US$26.41 an ounce.
Oil was up $0.67 to US$56.36 a barre